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Ryan Harrison outlasts Mardy Fish at Indian Wells

Ryan Harrison outlasts Mardy Fish at Indian Wells 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3)

Ryan Harrison serves to Mardy Fish during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP...
Mardy Fish returns to Ryan Harrison during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Indian Wells, Calif. (A...
Mardy Fish hits a backhand return to Ryan Harrison during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Indian W...
Klara Koukalova, of the Czech Republic, returns to Daniela Hantuchova, of Slovakia, during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thur...

Indian Wells Tennis

Ryan Harrison serves to Mardy Fish during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP...

Indian Wells Tennis

Mardy Fish returns to Ryan Harrison during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Indian Wells, Calif. (A...

Indian Wells Tennis

Mardy Fish hits a backhand return to Ryan Harrison during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Indian W...

Indian Wells Tennis

Klara Koukalova, of the Czech Republic, returns to Daniela Hantuchova, of Slovakia, during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thur...

INDIAN WELLS, California (AP) -- Playing competitive tennis for the first time in over 18 months, Mardy Fish battled for 2 hours, 36 minutes Thursday before losing to fellow American Ryan Harrison, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3) in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Fish had two match points at 15-40 in the 10th game of the third set, but Harrison wiggled free. After both held serve to force the tiebreaker, Harrison won three points in a row to go up 5-2. Fish's double fault gave Harrison match point and the 22-year-old closed it out with an ace.

The 33-year-old Fish, once ranked No. 7 in the world, had not played on the ATP Tour since Aug. 20, 2013, because of heart problems and anxiety issues that have plagued him since March 2012.

A finalist in 2008, when he lost to Novak Djokovic, Fish said that despite the long layoff the loss to Harrison "stings a little bit."

But there were positives.

"I've worked really hard in the past 3 1/2 months to get back in shape," Fish said, "So, I don't have any issues sort of during a match or after a match. I worked extremely hard to put myself in the best position to not have to worry about things when I was out there -- if I was out of shape or if I didn't feel well or if it was going to be a long match or a hot match or something like that, when a lot more things creep into your head."

On the women's side, two-time champion Daniela Hantuchova fell to Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 1-6, 6-3; Vera Zvonareva, the 2009 champion, lost to qualifier Polona Hercog of Slovakia 6-1, 6-1; and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy was ousted by Chinese qualifier Zhu Lin 0-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Seven qualifiers won their opening matches on the women's side on Thursday.

In other men's matches, Canadian Vasek Pospisil advanced when Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan retired while trailing, 6-4, 4-2; 18-year-old Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis beat Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany, 7-6 (3), 6-3; and Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus moved on when Czech player Jiri Vesely retired while trailing 6-3, 1-1.

The men will conclude their first round Friday, while the women begin second-round play, highlighted by Serena Williams's return after a 14-year absence. Williams will face Monica Niculescu of Romania on Friday night.


Updated : 2021-09-18 21:05 GMT+08:00